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Can I Recover Overtime Pay as a Salaried Employee?

Yes, salaried employees are eligible to receive overtime pay much like how employees who work hourly are. Placing an employee on salary would not exclude him or her from receiving overtime payments for extra hours worked over forty (40) hours per week. However, salaried employees can get exempted from getting paid overtime wages if they make a specific amount and have particular duties that do not qualify for overtime wages. An “exempt” employee does not qualify for minimum wage and/or overtime pay. Federal and state overtime laws define which employees are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay.

Fair Labor Standards Act

Depending on what your responsibilities are and how much you are making, an update to a federal overtime law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). may impact how many hours you work and whether your employer must pay you overtime for such hours worked. The update would be utilized to determine whether white-collar, salaried employees are exempted from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

“White-Collar” Exemptions

An employee would be exempted if they work in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as outlined in the Department of Labor’s regulations at 29 CFR part 541. These exemptions are called the “white-collar” exemptions. These particular regulations define which jobs qualify for the white collar exemption and thus do not qualify for overtime pay.. Before the change, salaried employees who were earning at least $23,660 per year met the white collar exemption if their job duties met the specific duties outlined in the regulation. The new amendment though increased the salary threshold amount to $47,476.

This means that if an employee is paid a salary of over $913 per week or $47,476 per year, then they do not qualified for mandatory overtime pay. This salary floor, though, will increase over time, as updates to the weekly and yearly payment ceilings for mandatory overtime are slated to rise every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.

With this new rule, an employer is not obligated to pay white collar, salaried worker overtime pay if the employer can establish these three things:

  • The worker has a set salary that is not influenced by the changes in either the quality or quantity of work completed
  • The worker is paid at least $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full year
  • The worker performs executive, administrative, or professional job duties, as outlined in the Department of Labor’s regulations

There are other special exemptions for overtime pay that have been set by the FLSA. A lot of these include commission-based pay arrangements and blue-collar jobs. You can get the full details of these exemptions by visiting the Department of Labor website or contacting an employment lawyer.

The goal of the update is to raise the income of workers that receive a salary, but still make low incomes as they may be asked to work a practically unlimited number of hours.

If an employee is earning $23,660 while supporting a family of four, that family would fall below the poverty line, especially in places that have a high cost of living

The existing salary level is not congruent to Congress’s goal to exempt only “bona fide” white collar workers, who generally earn salaries well above those of workers they supervise

The overtime threshold has been amended only once since the year 1975. As a result of inflation, there are plenty of salaried workers that are working more hours but still making substantially less money.

The new regulation would have a lot of impact on all corners of the economy, in particular, on non-profits, retail establishments, hotels and restaurants, where managers typically earn salaries under the new threshold.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding overtime pay or if your employer is not paying you overtime wages that you have earned, you should immediately contact an experienced employment attorney who can provide you with expert assistance. Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC, attorneys who are focused on fighting for employees’ pay rights. For more information, you can visit the firm’s website at www.rmlegalgroup.com.